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New Year, New Home? Set Homeownership Goals Whether You’re Buying, Selling, or Staying Put

New Year, New Home? Set Homeownership Goals Whether You’re Buying, Selling, or Staying Put

New Year, New Home? Set Homeownership Goals Whether You’re Buying, Selling, or Staying Put

The start of a new year always compels people to take a fresh look at their goals, from health and career to relationships and finance. But with historically low mortgage rates, increased home sales and price growth, and a tight housing inventory, the time is right to also make some homeownership resolutions for 2021.

Read on to discover key action steps to take to achieve your homeownership goals this year, whether you’re a home buyer, home seller, or a homeowner not yet planning on moving..


Resolution #1: Qualify for a better mortgage with a higher credit score.

Your credit report highlights your current debt and bill-paying history and is used to calculate your credit score, affecting whether you’ll qualify for a mortgage. Generally, a credit score of 725 or higher is very good to excellent. If your score is below 725, work at boosting it before house-hunting.

Resolution #2: Improve your credit health by paying down debt.

Debt hurts your buying power (the amount of home you can afford) and your credit score. The less debt you have, the higher your credit score and the better mortgage you can obtain. Try to reduce (or eliminate) the balances on each account.

Resolution #3: Save up to create a financial safety net.

The down payment depends on the home’s price, but the minimum is 5% for a purchase price of under $500,000, and closing costs range from 2-3%. You’ll also need money for moving expenses and any initial maintenance tasks that might pop up, and having some liquid savings will ensure that you can still pay your mortgage if a crisis occurs.


Resolution #4: Decide on the right time to sell.

There is no one month or season that is the perfect time to sell your home. Instead, the right timeline for you takes into account factors such as when you’ll earn the highest profit, personal convenience, and whether your home is even ready to put on the market. Currently in our NE Florida area Jacksonville, Orange Park, Lake Asbury, St Johns county and surrounding areas are hot. It is a great time to consider selling.

Resolution #5: Boost your home’s resale value by making your property shine.

You can maximize your home sale price with some simple fixes to make sure your property outshines your neighbors’ for sale down the street. For example, improving a home’s landscaping may increase its value by 15 to 25%. There are tons of other pointers I would be happy to share with you along the way.

Resolution #6: Invest in your “extra” living space.

Thanks to COVID-19’s impact on their lifestyles, buyers are currently looking for homes with home offices, private outdoor spaces, and updated kitchen appliances. If you’ve got an underutilized room, consider turning it into an office, home gym, or schoolroom to attract better offers on your home.


Resolution #7: Evaluate your household budget to reflect financial changes.

A work-from-home arrangement could mean less money spent on commuting and dining out, but it could also mean increased expenses, such as faster Wi-Fi and higher energy bills. Update your income and expenses and review last year’s spending habits. I have recently learned how to cut the cord and I got rid of cable. If you would like to know more I would be happy to share what I learned along the way. It has saved me nearly $180 a month in cable bills.

Resolution #8: Save money now (and earn more later) with home maintenance.

With a regular home maintenance plan, you’ll avoid some surprise “emergency fixes,” can lower your energy costs, and when you’re ready to eventually sell your home, you’ll get higher offers from buyers who aren’t put off by overdue repairs.

Resolution #9: Invest in real estate for a better standard of living.

Even if you don’t plan on leaving your current residence, real estate is a great way to improve your quality of life in 2021. A vacation home in a getaway location you love lets you safely spread your wings. And if you have been looking for a second stream of income, an investment property might be your answer.


Whether you’re looking to buy, sell, or stay put in your home, it helps to connect with a trusted real estate agent. As local market experts in greater Jacksonville, we have the knowledge, experience, and networks to help you achieve your homeownership goals, whatever they may be. Reach out to us today for a free consultation and commit to a happy and prosperous new year.

As always we can chat about your goals. Feel free to call, text or email me anytime!

Mike Schwiebert, REALTOR®


Mike Schwiebert

Mike Schwiebert is a REALTOR, a real estate investor, former building and remodeling contractor, and the winner of the best of Clay Real Estate Agent in 2019 and 2020.

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